How to Brand Yourself on Social Media
One of the main tips you’ll hear for social media is whether you are trying to get engagement for business, influencer, or organization, you need a brand. You need a foundation of what you represent that people will recognize. Some may argue that a brand is unnecessary and businesses can get traction on solely what they sell. Though, that may be true for local businesses with loyal customers, if you want to reach a wide array of people you need something that catches the eye. Examples of excellent branding can be found in any business or internet celebrity like State Farm, Emma Chamberlain, and Chick-Fil-A are all great examples of unprecedented branding. State Farm has its colors which is red. As well as, a slogan, ‘Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.’ Also, their commercials can always be recognized because they usually have actors with great comedic timing. Their business is distinguished through these things. For Emma Chamberlain, we all know that she loves coffee, has an influential style, and has a quirky personality. Chick-Fil-A is branded as having extremely nice workers, a cow as their representative(their advertising has a joke where the cow tells you to eat more chicken), and, staple colors: red and white.
Branding according to sbnonline.com is, “Branding yourself means to develop a unique professional identity and coherent message that sets you apart from others either in your company or in your industry.” Branding is just as important as other aspects of a business. The goal of branding differentiates from others but consistently within your message. It makes you current in your industry or field. Just like the examples above they are all current and well-known figures in their field. Once you have pinpointed your unique brand, you need to communicate it to others. Your goal is to actively promote and manage your personal brand. When branding you must exemplify what your branding actually is.
Here are a few tips to establish your brand:
Upgrade your mindset
The first and most important step is to completely switch the way you think, especially when it comes to social media. Social media is no longer about posting photos of delicious food and fancy vacations; it has a deeper objective to show off your true skills across multiple platforms that are consumed on daily basis by many audiences worldwide. While also, be aware of the current trends in social media and stay in the know. Your audience will be more engaged if you stay up to date about current topics and events.
Define your brand
Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Involve some key words like collaborative, professional, mature, or trendy that describe your brand. I would say about ten of them in your description. The more detail the better. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that's irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time. There are opportunities to be an expert in anything!
Yes, everywhere! Even the platforms that you hate or don't know how to use, you have to be on them, and learn how to use them! You don’t know how long these social media platforms will be around or how long it will take for people to lose interest in them. Take for example, Vine. Vine was deleted and a lot of creators lost their traction because they didn’t spread their engagement among other apps.
Establish a presence
After you make ALL of your social media accounts. As you gain a following it is going to be more than your friends, colleagues, and family looking you up on google and social media. It is going to your prospective clients, your respected audience or followings of any kind. so make sure your branded content is what people find when they Google your name. More specifically, for influencers you should you can purchase your full name as a domain name (yourfullname.com). By developing either a static website or a blog under your domain name, you will own the first result for your name in Google and other search engines. After purchasing your domain name, add your picture, a bio, your email address, and links to the rest of your presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). This way, people can get in touch with you in their medium of choice. Claim your name before someone else does. While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a more finite result.
What you need to do across your different online channels is to share knowledge as much as you can, and help everyone to benefit from your unique experience. Make sure the content you share will become important to the people who will start to follow you and keep track of what you post.
Generate brand awareness through networking.
When they said, ‘It takes a village,” they weren’t just talking about babies, okay? You need other people in your similar industry to become acquainted with your brand and who you are. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term. Don't build a one-way channel that broadcasts information only, create an engaging community around you, where you'd reach out to others in your field, and engage with their content in a meaningful way. You can do this through simple steps like, liking their post (if you really do), and leaving a comment that not only attracts more eyeballs, but also get recognized as an active person who provides value. There are lots of events (most are virtual right now) that will allow you to introduce yourself to other professionals so you can make the connections to advance your career.
The three C’s of branding
Clarity, consistency, constancy. Be clear in who you are and are not. Don’t sugar-coat your qualifications. Express your brand across all communications mediums. Determine where you want to fit in (industry and niche area of expertise) and then remain visible to your target audience.
Be open for feedback that criticizes constructively
The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. You’d be surprised what people notice about you. People notice how one dresses, introduces themselves in public and on social media, they even notice how you walk into a room. Ask others what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. This can give you an idea of the type of vibes you give off and if your brand really is what you preach it is. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.
The world wants to hear what you have to say as an individual or a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen. New doors that are right for you will open continuously!
Author: Lydia Hill